Nooks & Crannies, the long-vacant Jackson Street property now under new ownership, will soon re-open as an adult toy store and dispensary of relationship enhancement equipment; Grand Haven’s first such establishment in more than forty years. In a special City Council session called on short-notice Thursday evening, Council Members voted to approve a permit for the town’s first sex-shop since The Pussycat’s Sandbox was closed amidst public outrage and brisk sales in 1969. The City Council has rejected many applications during the intervening years, most recently voting down a 2009 proposal for opening a shop called The Naughty Monkey in the Chinook Pier shopping center, and many observers attribute Thursday night’s reversal of precedent to the swing-vote of recently elected Council Member Natasha Kumonski, the outspoken and controversial critic of localized prudishness.
Following the landmark vote, local entrepreneur Adam Vanderwanken, 36, together with his wife and business partner Evelynnne, 52, celebrated on the steps outside City Hall, smiling and waving their freshly signed Permit like holders of a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket, about to realize their dream of re-opening Nooks & Crannies as a full-service retailer of adult sex-toys and intimate-relationship-enhancement-tools, including all the creams, gels, ointments and skin patches that any happy and well-adjusted couple could ever require. “People say you can’t fight City Hall”, enthused Adam, “But the City Council gave us a very happy ending, and now we can really get to work opening up Nooks & Crannies for everyone’s pleasure.”
While it remains to be seen how the Council’s decision will be received by local residents and other downtown merchants, reaction from local activist-group the Morally Indignant Liberty Foundation (MILF) has been swift and negative, with spokesman Floyd Lawson speaking to The Times from MILF’s ongoing protest at the Tri-Cities LMAO. “Those sex people can call something an ‘aid’ or ‘enhancement tool’ or whatever they want”, says Lawson, “But the truth is that once you let a battery-operated, vibrating sex toy into this town, or a pair of fur-lined handcuffs, it will be a very slippery slope into outright decadence.”
The Vanderwankens are sensitive to such concerns, but are quick to counter them with assurances that Nooks & Crannies will be “classy, discreet and eco-friendly”, offering only high-quality and thoroughly-tested devices which meet the rigorous standards prescribed by OSHA and The FDA. Between now and the Grand Opening being planned for mid-October, Adam and Evelynnne will hold two public forums at the Community Center, where Grand Haven residents can ask questions, voice concerns, and pick up a complimentary tote bag filled with a variety of free product-samples. The Vanderwankens hope their pro-active, hands-on approach towards any community tensions which may arise will lead to a satisfying conclusion for all concerned, and help make Nooks & Crannies a welcome and valuable addition to the Tri-Cities area.